Skip to main content

NKU Creates a Street Store to Help the Homeless Find Winter Clothes and Essentials

Street Store logo

November 29, 2017- Northern Kentucky University students are creating the region’s first Street Store to give homeless people the opportunity to “shop” for what they need to stay warm this winter. The Street Store will be on December 1, 2017 at the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky in Covington.

The Street Store, a concept started in South Africa, is organized by the community to create a rent-free, pop-up clothing store designed for people with low or no income. Every year, the Kentucky Housing Corporation conducts a K-Count to best monitor the homeless situation in Kentucky. In 2017, it found 252 homeless individuals for Kenton, Boone, and Campbell counties. Realizing that there is a need to promote awareness of this issue a group of students in the College of Business decide to partner with the Emergency Shelter as part of NKU’s Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project. 

“Our mission was to better understand the issue of housing insecurity and select a non-profit dealing with this issue. We decided the one way to help was to set up a Street Store, and the reaction was very positive,” said Dr. Carole Cangioni, assistant professor in the Department of Management. “Students from other classes joined us and clothes donations started to flood. We hope to spread awareness that anybody in the community can start a Street Store and bring people together: those who donate, and those who receive.”

NKU established the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project in 1999 to teach students about nonprofits and philanthropy by using a "learn by giving" approach in the college classroom. Every semester a few university courses are named Mayerson courses and are given a sum of money. The students are asked to evaluate nonprofits and then invest in those they think will make the most effective use of the funds.

“Most people often want to make an impact on their community but don't know where to start or believe that their input is too little to impact anyone. We are giving power to these people by launching this local Street Store,” said Alexi De La Cruz, NKU student. “The Street Store gives any of us the opportunity to affect those in a position of instability, low or no-income, or health issues by setting up shop wherever we'd like.”

· What: Street Store and Winter Clothing Drive

· When: Friday Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· Where: The Emergency Shelter of NKY, 634 Scott Blvd, Covington, KY

To encourage participation from community members, the street store will be held be held in conjunction with a winter clothes donation drive. For more information on the event, please contact Dr. Carole Cangioni at 859-517-5466 or

About The Emergency shelter of NKY: The shelter hosts more than 60 guests per night but is open to shelter everyone in need when temperatures drop below freezing. ESNKY opened its doors for the first time in the winter of 2008 as the region’s only cold weather shelter for adults. It was started by a group of concerned citizens and business owners who wanted to ensure that our most vulnerable population had a place to go to during our coldest weather.

About The Street Store: The Street Store is a Cape Town, South Africa based non-profit that was created in January 2014 and built upon giving dignity to those who have little or no income. They believe upon operating on principles like free space and rent-free space in hopes of by innovating the ways of re-distributing clothes. It began as an initiative for a homeless shelter, but the creators came to the understanding that homeless was not only in Cape Town, so they modified The Street Store to become a project that anyone could implement where there is a need. If you'd like to host a store, visit